Thoughts on celebrating and promoting women in business.

By Julie McIlroy, Partner M&K Media

I am honored to be the co-owner along with Julie King of our female led media buying company M&K Media in Toronto, Canada. We just recently celebrated our twentieth anniversary which is a testament to our amazing staff and fabulous clients. We have embraced all media professionals regardless of gender, race, religion and disabilities in our twenty-year history and with my perspective of many years in this industry I am often asked about how we should support women.

The following is by no means comprehensive but is a distillation of the best and easiest advise I can give to women professionals seeking to contribute to our collective success.

Firstly, women need to understand and embrace the fact that it is our collective responsibility to support, promote and celebrate women in the workplace. To that end we must mentor our current, past, and future employees as well as our clients, marcom partners and yes even our competitors. There is no clear roadmap to success and every high-profile promotion of a woman into a senior role benefits us all collectively. So, make sure you offer up congratulations and best wishes on social and trade media for staff member and industry colleague accomplishments. Publicize your hires, promotions, and wins. Write references and endorsements. Take meetings with students and new Canadians looking for advice on how to get into the business. Open doors where you can. Network with other women and especially other female led companies. Make “You Go Girl” your favourite encouragement.

Secondly, women led businesses must demonstrate to their employees and their industries that we can be successful on our own terms. This means that we can have successful careers and achieve a balanced, healthy, and happy life at the same time. Implementing work/life balance policies within the workplace that stress career development along with promoting quality family life and good health practices is key. When women know they are supported the sky is the limit!

Nothing detailed above is hard to do. It is in your power to help women succeed everyday. Start now by simply celebrating a woman’s achievement today.